Today (Tuesday) marks the first official day of summer, which also means it's the longest day and shortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. 🗺️🌊🌞 The increasing length of daily light is a favorite topic of discussion between my husband and I. We generally begin talking about this after the passage of the Winter Solstice. Reminding ourselves that the days are getting longer is a winter survival strategy along with the fact that longer days mean later evening bike rides! We ventured out last night around 10 p.m. in an attempt to avoid the extreme heat. It was still 95 degrees out when we left. Back in March I wrote about the sun and the benefits of Vitamin D. At the time, we were headed out to Los Angeles and I was very excited about the chance to get a little sun exposure.📅🌇🏙️ I realize that although the topic was relevant for me at the time, it was pretty meaningless to most of you, as noone around here is really getting any sort of legitimate sun exposure until mid to late May at the soonest. So I decided to re-post my blog about Vitamin D, as we're smack in the middle of optimal Vitamin D acquisition time!🔁🖖☀️ If you'd like to get on the schedule for one of our awesome services CLICK HERE! Also, I'm in the office again this Sat. morning if you'd like to get on the schedule. Reminder: Rebecca is out of the office for several weeks enjoying a family rode trip! 🌴⛱️👙 Enjoy!
Here Comes The Sun!
“Here comes the sun! Doo n’ doo doo! Here comes the sun, and I said; it’s alright!” Do you hear the song? ✨🎵〽️ My husband and I are getting ready to head outta dodge to California for a week for a little break from the cold and snow. The number one thing I am looking forward to feeling is the sunshine on my bare skin! Yes! 🏴❄️☀️ The sun tends to get a bad rap. Can and does sunshine on bare skin cause’ skin cancer? Yes. Have people taken their fear of this fact to crazy levels? Yes.🔆😨🔥 It’s February; why am I even addressing this? Most folks won’t contemplate the adequacy of their supply of sunscreen for several more months.
Let me share the back-up story of why I started thinking about this. 🤔📚 The other day one of my clients comes in and shares that her husband has Covid. “Are you guys taking Vitamin D?” 🌞 “Yes!” “How much?” 💊❓ “1,000 IU’s.” The current USRDA of Vitamin D is 800 IU’s. So 1,000 IU’s should be plenty, right? Wrong. These recommendations are absolute minimum values and tend to only benefit bone health; not immune function. Also, a statistical error was found by several researchers and the USRDA number was found to be off by a factor of 10.☠️😮🍅 USRDA for Vitamin D should be closer to 7,000 IU’s. Since the start of the pandemic I’ve become a big research geek. One topic that has been continually coming up across the board amongst various medical professionals that I have trusted for years is the affect of Vitamin D on our immune system; particularly with Covid 19. 🤓🧑⚕️ I had no idea. My husband and I had definitely not been supplementing properly. Like I said, this topic has been coming up from multiple sources, however, I just re-listened to a podcast conducted by Dr. Brett Weinsten, who hosts The Darkhorse Podcast with his wife Dr. Heather Heying. They are two evolutionary biologists and just came out with an excellent book called the The Hunter Gatherers Guide to the 21st Century. This 2 hour podcast features the extensive work done on this topic by Gruff Davies and Linda Benskin. 🧑🔬 Gruff is a British inventor, tech entrepreneur, physicist and author. In 2019, he was named one of the Worlds Top 50 innovators by Codex who invited him to give a talk at the Royal Society, London. In 2018, Gruff and Kwiziq co-founder Simon, won the BMWi UK EdTech Founder of the Year award. Between March and June 2020, and part-time thereafter, he took an unplanned sabattical to work pro bono as a coronavirus research scientist. Linda Benskin’s credentials are as follows: PhD, RN, SRN (Ghana) Independent researcher for improving health in rural areas of tropical developing countries, and Ferris Mfg. Corp.👩🔬🐠🧑⚕️ She’s done extensive research on the topic of Covid 19 and Vitamin D and the summary of her work is outlined in a paper she wrote to appeal to government health agencies to present efficacy of Vitamin D safety and the benefits of it’s use for Covid 19. The letter was signed by 220 different doctors, Phd’s, researchers, and physicians. It can be found Here. If you’d like to listen to the podcast, click here. We can compare notes. You’d think a 2 hour podcast about Vitamin D would be boring but I assure you it is not.✨💤🌦️
For those not game to listen to the podcast, I’m eager to share my takeaway’s. As usual, my goal is to share information you can use to benefit your health and your life.
I’ll do my best to summarize; here goes:
Proper Vitamin D levels in the body boosts the immune system, decreasing illness, and the spread of illness. Proper Vitamin D levels can save lives. 🌡️🤢❤️
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms match Covid 19 symptoms.
Vitamin D strengthens the epithelial junctions (gap junctions) in the body. Think of it like a wall. The stronger the wall, the less likely an invader (virus) can enter. 🦠🦟😷
If the invader (virus) does enter, proper Vitamin D levels in the body allow for strengthened T-cell immunity, which allows for an appropriate immune response vs an over reactive response.
Thrombolitic events (blood clots) have been a side effect of Covid 19 for many folks and it’s the result of an over reactive response in the immune system. Vitamin D can help control that reaction. 🩸😮
Vitamin D acts like a powerful hormone. It controls 20,000 different genes in the body. It’s pretty darn important!
One consistent research finding links Covid 19 deaths and difficulties to multiple comorbidities and significantly deficient levels of Vitamin D. 💀⬇️🛢️
So how do we get Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is synthesized in the body as a result of exposure to the sun. But not just any exposure; it must be the UVB rays. The amount of UVB ray exposure is dependent on ones proximity to the equator and the time of year.☀️🔥🛎️
If you live by the equator, you’ll have plenty of UVB ray exposure, year round. The further you are from the equator (hint: we’re in Minnesota; we’re pretty far) the less UVB ray exposure you’ll have.
It’s also dependent on the time of year. If one lives in the United States, you won’t have adequate UVB sun exposure for 6-8 months of the year.🗓️🦅☀️
Let’s say it’s summertime. It’s 8 a.m. and you’re outside weeding your garden in Minnesota. It’s August and it’s hot and humid, around 85 degrees.
Can you get a sunburn at 8 a.m.? Yes! Can you get a tan @ 8:00 a.m.? Yes! 📔👍👎
Are you getting good Vitamin D synthesis? No! That’s because you’re being exposed to the UVA rays but not the UVB rays.
UVB rays come out mid-day. In August in Minnesota, it’d be somewhere around 11-2 p.m. You know, when they tell you not to be in the sun.
Thirty minutes of maximal sunscreen-free skin exposure (think swimsuit) during optimal UVB light exposure (mid-day) allows the body to synthesize around 10,000 IU’s Vitamin D. Sunscreen blocks UVB rays.
The darker ones’ skin, the more melanin they have in their skin, which means the more sun they need to synthesize Vitamin D and the likelier they are to be deficient in Vitamin D.🏳️🌈
Blasphemy! What about skin cancer? According to GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, the problem with melanoma isn’t the sun. It’s too much sun too soon.You should get enough exposure that allows you to get a little pink, but the pink goes away once you’re back inside. 🌸❤️🔥
Binging and burning (think spring break) is the best way to get melanoma. Not small daily doses. Actually, adequate regular, small doses of exposure to the sun actually allows us to synthesize Vitamin D which protects us from cancers; including melanoma.
A great way to check how much Vitamin D is available where you live, during a specific time of year, during a specific time of day, is to download an app. There are several available, but the one I like is the DMinder app.📱☀️📆
Ok, great. But what do we do during the winter? The answer is to supplement.
Vitamin D is not expensive, and you can find it at any drug store or pharmacy. If you haven’t been taking it, start with 10,000 IU’s daily for 2-3 weeks, then drop it down to 5,000-7,000 IU’s daily. 💊📰
If actively experiencing Covid 19, or any other illness for that matter, crank up your intake to 50,000 IU’s daily until symptoms clear up. Then drop back down to 5,000-7,000 IU’s for maintenance.
Even if you get outside regularly during the summer, it is advised that if you live above the 40 degree latitude line (hint: in Minnesota we are right at 45 degrees) that you still supplement in the summer. Just drop your dosage down in the summer and crank it back up in the winter.🌐🗺️💊
This isn’t just beneficial for Covid 19; watch to see how you handle colds and flu’s moving forward.
Some clinicians studying this stuff have been so bold as to suggest that we don’t actually suffer from cold and flu season; we just suffer from Vitamin D deficiency season.🤒🤢🍁
Is too much Vitamin D toxic? No. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and unfortunately, Vitamin A, which is also fat soluble, has given all the other fat soluble vitamins a bad rap.
Vitamin A overdose is toxic; however, Vitamin D is not. The body has a built-in fail-safe mechanism for dealing with excess Vitamin D. It’s very hard to overdose as we have plenty of enzymes that will start ramping up to help eliminate it if too much is taken.✔️🦺
If you’re curious about your Vitamin D levels, you can also have them tested.
However, a few questions to ask yourself: ❓🙋☝️
Have you been supplementing with Vitamin D? If no, you’re deficient.
If yes, have you been taking less than 4,000 IU’s daily? If yes, you’re deficient.
But can’t you get Vitamin D through your food sources? Yes! But this would require a diet of almost exclusively wild caught salmon (not farmed) and/or wild game meat.🥗🍣🥩
Most of us are in neither category.
It has been found that over 70% of us are deficient in Vitamin D.⬇️👎
And there’s literally no downside to supplementing with this vitamin.
The more I research this topic, the more irritated I get that it has been excluded from the messaging of our health officials these last few years. When I think about the lives that could have been saved, it’s quite tragic. But all I can do is get the word out to my people the best way I know how. 👿📢🗳️
I hope you decide to share what you now know with the people you love.
Now, I’m off to get some sun! Even if they’re only the UVA rays!🏖️☀️